Creative Inquiry Summer Experience grants

Are you looking for a paid summer internship that will help you develop your research and creative inquiry skills? If so, Tech’s Creative Inquiry Summer Experience (CISE) grant program is for you. The only firm requirements are that you are an undergraduate student and agree to work with a faculty member this summer. Grants are for a maximum of $4,000, with up to $3,500 as a stipend. CISE grant applications MUST be submitted via e-mail as a single, combined PDF file to Ed Lisic, director of the QEP CISE program. Deadline is March 17 at 4:30 p.m. | (931) 372-3425

Need volunteer hours?

Putnam County Remote Area Medical is hosting its third annual free clinic for patients of all ages, March 17-18. The free clinic provides quality vision, dental, and medical services to those in need. It will be held at the Cookeville High School (2335 N Washington Ave). We are still in need of volunteers to close the clinic Sunday afternoon, March 18. To volunteer please visit For questions, please email

13th Annual Research and Creative Inquiry Day

Research and Creative Inquiry Day is an annual event designed to promote student research and creative inquiry and provide a venue for presenting that work. This event is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all departments who want to display their research and creative projects. The abstract submission deadline is Wednesday, March 14 (abstracts can be submitted at Poster judging will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, April 9, in the Hooper Eblen Center. General viewing of the posters will take place between 9 and 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10. The complete schedule for Research and Creative Inquiry Day can be found on the Office of Research website at


ACS National Meeting - New Orleans - March 18-22, 2018

ACS National Meetings are where chemistry professionals meet to share ideas and advance scientific and technical knowledge. By attracting thousands of chemical professionals, the meeting provides excellent opportunities for sharing your passion for chemistry, connecting with the world’s largest scientific society, and advancing your career in this ever-changing global economy. For more information, go to the ACS website: ACS National Meeting & Expo

Tech breaks ground for new lab science building

Phonsnasinh, Bailey (Published Monday, November 6, 2017)

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Biology department chair Rob Kissell, chemistry department chair Jeff Boles, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Semmes and President Phil Oldham celebrate the groundbreaking of the new lab science building.

Construction of a new lab sciences building at Tennessee Tech is officially underway and was celebrated at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday afternoon.

“It’s really once in a lifetime opportunity to create something like this,” said university President Phil Oldham. “I couldn’t be prouder of the faculty and staff that have participated in bringing a collection of ideas together in a way that is going to really benefit Tech students for generations to come.”

The $90 million, 160,000-square-feet facility will be the largest academic building at Tech and the its first LEED certified building, housing the chemistry department, a portion of the biology department and lab space for earth sciences, physics and environmental sciences.

The new building replaces Foster Hall and will be the anchor for a new academic quad located immediately north of the Capital Quad residence halls on the site of a current parking lot.

“The people involved in this project have been very dedicated,” said Department of Chemistry Chair Jeff Boles. “They have been, and in some cases continue to be, involved in everything from classroom and laboratory design to flooring and furniture selection.”

A team of more than 40 faculty members worked closely with architects Upland Design Group in Crossville and Bauer-Askew Architecture in Nashville on the building design. Together they have incorporated collaborative spaces unlike any that have ever existed at Tech as part of the building’s design, allowing faculty and students to interact and work together in an unprecedented way.

“President Oldham wanted us to be fearless,” Boles said. “He wanted to be forward-thinking. He wanted us to design something better, something bigger, something ready for tomorrow that not only fostered and supported growth in enrollment but professional growth in faculty, staff and students.”

Design features focus on collaborative space, active learning and “Science on Display,” which is the appropriate use of glass in a building so that people can see what goes on.

“This building can best be described in the experiences that it will make possible,” said Department of Biology Chair Rob Kissell. “Those experiences are going to be transformative experiences, they are going to be enhanced experiences and they are going to be collaborative experiences. The new building will be transformative on campus on many levels.”

Upland Design Group in Crossville and Bauer-Askew Architecture in Nashville previously worked on Bell Hall, home of the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing.

The Christman Company, which also built Ray Morris Hall, home of the Millard-Oakley STEM Center, is the contractor for the building project.

The project was funded by the State of Tennessee in the university’s 2016 budget appropriation.

Alumni Spotlight

R. Thomas Collins, II, MD

TTU Class of '98

  • Dr. Tom Collins

    Dr. Tom Collins

Tom Collins received his B.S. in chemistry in 1998 from Tennessee Tech. He then went to med school at UT and graduated in 2002. He completed a four-year combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and then went on to train in Pediatric Cardiology at one of the best hospitals in the world, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He rounded out his time there with an advanced fellowship in cardiac imaging and adult congenital heart disease and accepted his first faculty appointment at the level of Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock in 2010. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015.

Tom's research interests have been quite varied; however, he has garnered national and international recognition as a leading expert in the cardiovascular complications of Williams syndrome, as well as some other connective tissue disorders. As a result of this expertise, he was recruited to join the faculty of Stanford’s School of Medicine in June, 2017. He is building and directing a connective tissue disorder program there. This represents an enormous opportunity, and he is excited to join the faculty of one of the world’s leading institutions. 

Tom wanted to share this exciting news with the people at Tennessee Tech who played a role in his being where he is in his career. Per Tom, "You poured into me in some way or other, and I continue to appreciate that and all you do at Tech. I am proud to have come through that program and hope that my achievements reflect well on it."

R. Thomas Collins II, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Cardiology)

Stanford University School of Medicine

Director, Cardiovascular Connective Tissue Disorders Program

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford